NEW YORK -- With so much speculation surrounding the Opening Day lineup, two circumstances beyond the team's control changed things dramatically on Monday at Citi Field.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy left the team on Sunday to be with his wife, Tori, who went into labor with the couple's first child. Murphy is expected back on Wednesday; Eric Young played second base and batted leadoff against the Nationals.
The Mets also played without outfielder Chris Young, who suffered a mild right quad strain over the weekend in Montreal. Though Young said that he felt well enough to pinch-hit or pinch-run if needed, he explained that Tuesday's off-day would essentially give him three full days of rest to make sure the muscle heals correctly.
"It's going to be tough to not go out there with my teammates today," Young said. "Especially with how spring was, we've been playing well at the back end of Spring Training. There were just a lot of high hopes and positivity coming into today, so I wish I could be part of it. But you have to do what's best for the team, and today this is what it is."